10 Tips For A Good Sleep Before Results Day

10 Tips For A Good Sleep Before Results Day

You’ve done the hard work – all those months of studying are behind you. After finally being able to close the textbooks and give yourself some peace for a couple of months, you may now be getting worried and nervous: tomorrow, you find out your results. Whether you’re getting GCSE or A-Level results, it can be a stressful time. Being nervous about Results Day is enough to deal with, so don’t give yourself the extra burden of a restless night. Below, we’ve gathered some tips for how you can get a good sleep before Results Day.

10 Tips for A Good Sleep Before Results Day

1) Have A Hot Drink

It sounds like an old wives’ tale but having a hot drink before going to bed will really help you sleep. A hot drink before bedtime will make you feel warm and cosy, helping you to relax and settle down. This way, you’ll fall asleep quicker – which is great if you start to worry about things as soon as you put your head on the pillow. Whether it’s hot milk or hot chocolate, this oldie but goodie will knock you out. Don’t drink coffee, though, or even tea – you don’t want to be consuming caffeine at this point. Or, if you’d prefer a cold drink, have a glass of milk. Milk has the ingredient tryptophan, a calming agent that helps you to relax. Almond milk will also work the same magic!

2) Read A Book in Bed

Get in your most comfortable pyjamas, snuggle under your duvet, and curl up with a book in bed. Add a cup of hot chocolate and you’ll be living the dream! Just six minutes of reading can reduce stress by 68% by clearing your mind and preparing your body for sleep.1 Reading in bed is a great way to quiet your thoughts and anxieties, so you can sleep well before Results Day.

3) Take A Hot Bath or Shower

There are a few ways to enjoy complete relaxation – and a warm bath is definitely one of them! Baths not only help you to relax and get clean, but they also help you to get a good sleep. Having a bath will raise your body temperature a degree or two. After you’ve gotten out of the bath, your body temperature drops. This helps your body to relax, and you’re more likely to fall into a deep, restorative sleep. If you don’t really like baths, or would prefer something quicker, a shower will do the trick, too!

4) Meditate

Is your mind running wild with nerves and excitement, keeping you awake? You just need to clear your mind of all thoughts and anxieties about Results Day. Meditation makes this a lot easier. Meditate before going to bed – it doesn’t have to be complicated! Just find a nice, quiet spot to sit, get in a comfortable pose, and clear your mind of all thoughts. You can find ideas as to how to do this in our article, ‘Meditation To Help You Sleep’. You can also try mindfulness – a form of meditation that encourages you to focus on the moment. Doing this will help you clear your thoughts. Find out more about its benefits, and how to practice it, in our article, ‘Mindfulness and Sleep’. By quieting any anxious thoughts, you can enjoy a good sleep before Results Day.

5) Turn Off Your Electronic Devices

I know – this one sounds impossible but, if you want to get a good sleep, you need to turn them all off. Your phone, TV, laptop, tablet, iPod – everything! If you use your phone as an alarm clock, then switch it on silent mode. How are you going to fall asleep if your phone keeps buzzing with notifications? You might be texting your friends and reassuring one another, which is fine, but bid them goodnight and leave everything electronic alone for about an hour before going to sleep. The blue light that’s emitted from these screens can disrupt your body’s production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. This’ll keep you awake. Read more about how technology can affect your sleep here. Fill this hour up with relaxing things; have a bath or read a book!

6) Have A Healthy Sleeping Environment

Your bedroom should be dark, cool, and quiet. Draw the curtains tightly – you don’t want any pesky rays of sunlight slipping into your room and waking you up before the alarm goes off.

7) Try Lavender

Lavender produces calming, soothing, and sedative effects when its scent is inhaled. The Deep Sleep Pillow Spray from This Works features a blend of Lavender, Vetivert, and Camomile that’ll calm both your mind and body. Simply spray it onto your pillow for a soothing sleep. Read more about its benefits here.

8) Listen to Relaxing Music or Sounds

This one might not work for everyone, but some people prefer falling asleep to background music rather than silence. If you do listen to music to fall asleep, make sure it’s soothing with slower melodies. This doesn’t mean that it has to be classic music – just anything that isn’t fast-paced or heavy metal. Or you could consider listening to white noise tracks or gentle rain soundtracks when trying to fall asleep.

9) The 4-7-8 Technique

The 4-7-8 technique is a sleeping hack that tricks your body into falling asleep. It was created by Andrew Weil, a Harvard-trained holistic health doctor. All you have to do is slightly touch the ridge of tissue behind your top teeth with your tongue, exhale completely, and then go through the following pattern:

  • Inhale through your nose quietly while counting to 4
  • Hold your breath while counting to 7
  • Slowly exhale through your mouth while counting to 8
  • Repeat this process three more times

10) Get Up If You Can’t Sleep

If you’re struggling to get to sleep, don’t be hard on yourself. If you’re still awake for about twenty minutes after getting into bed, don’t stay in bed. If you do, your mind will come to associate your bed with restlessness – this will make it even harder to get to sleep! Get up and go to a different room. Have a glass of milk, read a book, or listen to quiet music – anything that’s relaxing and doesn’t involve looking at a screen. Only go back to bed when you feel sleepy.

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Give the Gift of Good Sleep This Mother’s Day

Give the Gift of Good Sleep This Mother’s Day

Flowers and chocolates are the go-to choices for how to treat your mother on Mother’s Day. While these are lovely ideas, there is a third option that your mum would love this Mother’s Day – the gift of a good sleep!

What Good Does Sleep Do for Your Mum?

Every mum deserves a day of pure relaxation and indulgence – especially when you think of all the sleepless nights she’s muddled through since you were born. The perfect day of relaxation must start with the ultimate treat – a nice, long lie-in in a comfortable, snuggly bed. Breakfast in bed would complete this pampered morning.

Dan Schecter, VP of consumer products at Carpenter Co. and creator of sleepbetter.org, highlights that most mums need “a chance to re-charge their batteries”. If you can’t create a life of luxury for her, you can still “help her make the most of the sleep opportunities that she does have”. A good night’s sleep does work magic on skin, mood, and energy levels.1 So, getting an uninterrupted snooze will have a similar effect for your mum as the expensive face cream you’ve been eyeing. She’ll enjoy brighter eyes and skin as her body goes into repair mode overnight. Plus, her skin, blood, brain cells, and muscles will be regenerated – all because of a few extra hours of sleep.2

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for a Good Sleep

If you’d still like your mum to have something to open on Mother’s Day, here are some gift ideas that would help your mum enjoy a great sleep this Mother’s Day.

1) ThisWorks Sleep Balm 10g

A relaxing pulse point balm with aromatherapeutic benefits, this balm helps you to unwind and enjoy a better sleep. The potent blend of Lavender, Manoi, and Coconut Oils are released by the warmth of your pulse points. Plus, ThisWorks’ award-winning Deep Sleep blend helps to calm a busy mind, nourish your skin, and calm your senses so that you look refreshed and revitalised in the morning. This balm will help your mum sleep well and look great. You can find it here.

2) ThisWorks Deep Sleep Shower Gel

Beautifully fragranced, this shower gel calms the mind, protects the skin, and helps you to cleanse away daytime stresses so that you can enjoy a restful snooze. Give your mother the gift of the perfect relaxing sleep with this shower gel. Read more about its benefits here.

3) Chamomile tea

A box of chamomile tea can encourage your mother to relax with a cup of tea before bed. Chamomile tea contains an antioxidant called apigenin, which will help your mum drift off easily into a refreshing sleep by relaxing the nerves and muscles. There are other teas that could help your mum relax – find them in our article, ‘The Best Bedtime Teas for Sleep‘.

4) A bedtime fan

Warm weather is on the horizon, so a fan for your mum’s bedroom could make a great gift idea. It will help to cool the room – if the room is too warm, your mum could have a restless night of poor sleep. Plus, the white noise that fans make can be soothing and help drown out outside noises that could wake your mum up, like traffic or birds. The DCH6031 Ceramic Cool Air Heater from DeLonghi features a cool blow setting that’s perfect for sleeping through those warm summer nights.

5) New bed sheets

Nothing could make your mum more excited to get into bed like a set of new bedsheets can. Look for bedlinen between 200 and 400 thread count – anything higher can trap body heat and this’ll keep your mum from sleeping well. Choose natural fabrics like cotton, linen, and bamboo, as these materials can wick away perspiration while your mother sleeps peacefully. You can browse our bedlinen here. You could also consider giving your mum a cooling product that’ll make sure she sleeps soundly no matter how warm the room gets. The Viscofresh Cooling Pillow from Velfont will keep the sleeper at just the right temperature with its thermo-regulating fabric, while the SlumberCool Climate Control Mattress Protector will let your mum enjoy a breathable, comfortable, and healthy sleep.

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Sleep Well Before Your Wedding Day

Sleep Well Before Your Wedding Day

When the wedding day approaches, many brides and grooms may feel excitement bubbling up, as well as stress seeping in. With this mix of anticipation, restless nights can be inevitable. It may be one of the best days of your life, but that doesn’t mean that it will be worry free. Weddings are actually one of the most stressful life events. Not only do you have to spend months organising it, but you’ll be worried that something could go wrong on the day. Plus, getting married is ending one chapter of your life and beginning another – which is a big moment for everyone. With the anxiety of making sure that everything will be perfect, it’s no wonder that you may struggle to get a good sleep before your wedding day. Yet, the key to having a great day isn’t just making sure that everyone is having a good time – it’s making sure you sleep well before your wedding day.

In the run up …

Part of getting a good sleep before your wedding is paying attention to how you sleep in the nights leading up to your wedding day. Make sure that you’re getting at least six-and-a-half hours of sleep each night. If you sleep less than this, you could be more likely to be irritable during the day. This isn’t exactly how you want to feel when making last minute decisions or getting married!

A lack of sleep will also ruin any diets that you may be on. Sleep deprived people are more likely to indulge in junk food for a quick energy fix. All that hard work at fitting into the perfect dress could be completely washed away if you’re not getting enough sleep.

Also, not getting enough sleep could harm your immune system, so you’re more at risk of catching bugs and infections. Who wants to be getting married when they’re snotty and sickly? Not only would it ruin the day, but just think of the photos. So, getting a good sleep before the big day will make sure that you enjoy your wedding.

How Can You Get A Good Sleep Before Your Wedding Day?

Make A List of Your Worries

Whatever you’re worrying about, be it flowers arriving or finishing touches to bridesmaid dresses, write a list. Tackle the list the next day. By writing a list, you should leave anything that you’re worried about on the page and give yourself some peace. Plus, a list could give you a new perspective. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about everything that’s worrying you, seeing these worries written down could show you that there’s less on your mind than you thought.

Plan and Pack Accordingly

If you’re spending the night before your wedding in a hotel room or an unfamiliar environment, you should prepare for what sort of conditions you’ll be sleeping in. You may not be able to prepare for everything, but taking ear plugs or an eye mask will help to eliminate any strange noises or bright lights that could wake you up. Plus, comfort is key when it comes to a good sleep. While you can’t take your mattress, bed, or bedding with you, you can take your pillow! The flip side is to plan ahead if you’ve got people sleeping at your house. Planning in advance takes away any last-minute stresses. Know where they’ll sleep and how many people you’ll accommodate. Make sure you don’t have too many people staying with you – while it may be fun to have everyone over in the evening, it’ll be chaotic when you’re all getting ready for the wedding.

Enjoy Some “Me Time”

If you’re stressing out that everything won’t go to plan, or you’re too excited to settle, try to relax and get some quiet “me time”. Have a warm bath, read a book, do some yoga, or even go for a short walk. These will all help to relax both the mind and body. Plus, you could try some mindfulness techniques to quiet down your thoughts. Mindfulness is all about focusing on the small things and being in the moment. You can read about its benefits and how it works here.

Avoid Technology

Switch off your phone, tablet, laptop, and even the TV. Using technology before going to bed will only harm your sleep quality, as the blue light that’s emitted from these screens will disrupt the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. When this happens, you won’t fall asleep easily. Read more about technology’s effect on your sleep here. Instead, read a book, listen to relaxing music, or have a warm bath – just concentrate on relaxing.

Go Easy on the Alcohol

As tempting as it may be, don’t end up having a second hen night on the night before your wedding. It’s true that alcohol can make you sleepy, but it’ll keep you from falling into the deep, restorative sleep that your body needs. You’ll wake up feeling tired. Plus, you’ll be more likely to wake up in need for a bathroom trip during the night. You could struggle to get to sleep – especially if you start to think of your wedding and get excited or stressed! You don’t want to be saying “I do” with bloodshot eyes and dark shadows – it’s called beauty sleep for a reason!

Get Up If You Can’t Sleep

If you’re having trouble falling asleep, don’t stay in bed. If you do, your brain will link your bed with restlessness, and sleep will get even further away. Go to another room and read a book, listen to soothing music, or get a glass of milk. Milk has the ingredient tryptophan, a natural calming agent that will help you to relax. Cheese, yoghurt, and ice cream will also have this effect on you. Only go back to bed when you feel sleepy.

Accept That You May Not Get The Best Sleep

While getting a good night’s sleep will do you more wonders than makeup ever will, embrace and accept the fact that you just might not get the best sleep. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re awake when you’d rather be sleeping. It won’t help you sleep well before your wedding day. Just relax, tell yourself everything will be fine, and you’ll soon drift off into a peaceful snooze.

10 Tips For A Good Sleep Before Results Day

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We’ve all had those mornings where we struggle to get out of bed. We know it’ll be cold when we get up, or we feel like we haven’t had enough sleep, and we just want to sink back into bed and go back to sleep. But there are people who struggle with this every morning,...

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What Is Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder?

What Is Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder?

We’ve all had those mornings where we struggle to get out of bed. We know it’ll be cold when we get up, or we feel like we haven’t had enough sleep, and we just want to sink back into bed and go back to sleep. But there are people who struggle with this every morning, and it’s possible that they’ve got Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPS).

What Is Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder?

Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder (DSPD), or Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome, is a type of circadian rhythm sleep disorder. Your circadian rhythm is an inner body clock that decides when you need to be awake, and when you should be sleeping. It’s influenced by exposure to daylight, which is why you’re up when the sun’s up. You can read more about your circadian rhythm here.

When you have DSPD, your circadian rhythm is disrupted, and it’s not responding to your environment as it should. This could result in you falling asleep two or more hours beyond a conventional bedtime even if you’re tired. So, when the alarm goes off, you’ll feel like you haven’t slept long enough. One of the main issues with DSPD is trying to fall asleep before your body clock is ready to, and then trying to wake up in the morning before your body clock is ready to. This can lead to sleep deprivation and excessive daytime sleepiness, which can be a challenge if you need to go to work or school.

DSPD can develop at any age, but it seems to mostly affect teenagers and younger adults. About 15% of adolescents and adults have DSPD.1

Symptoms of Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder

The symptoms of DSPD can include:

  • Difficulty falling asleep at a desired time
  • Difficulty waking up at a desired time
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Complaints of insomnia
  • No other sleep disorders are present
  • Mood and behaviour issues
  • Depression or stress

DSPD could also lead to a dependency on caffeine, alcohol, or sedatives.2

DSPD vs. Night Owl

Although they sound similar, DSPD and being a Night Owl are not the same thing. If you’re a Night Owl, you likely deliberately stay up late to do homework, socialise, or anything else that you enjoy doing. This is because Night Owls feel more alert in the evenings. You’ll also wake up later than usual if you’re a Night Owl. However, when it’s time to follow a normal routine, you’re able to adjust your sleep schedule.

If you have DSPD, you aren’t going out of your way to stay up late – you just can’t get to sleep. Your circadian rhythm is delaying sleep even if you’re tired. It can be hard for someone with DSPD to adjust their body clock, which makes it difficult to sleep and wake at normal times.

Read more about being a Night Owl in our article, ‘Are You A Night Owl or a Lark?

How Can You Help Yourself Get A Good Sleep?

While DSPD makes it difficult to regulate your sleep, getting your body clock on track is not impossible. We’ve gathered some tips for how you can help to regulate your circadian rhythm and help yourself get a good sleep.

Try Light Therapy

As your circadian rhythm is influenced by daylight, it could be a lack of light that’s causing DSPD. A great way to expose yourself to light (other than going outdoors) is light therapy. The Bodyclock Go 75 Wake Up to Daylight Light from Lumie is an alarm clock that recreates a gradual sunrise. This wakes you up naturally so, when you open your eyes, you feel awake and more refreshed. Waking up like this will help to regulate your body clock, and it’ll even boost your mood and energy levels for the day. Find out more about its benefits here.

Reduce Exposure to Light in the Evening

Just as your body wakes up when there’s light, it should be settling down in the evening when it’s dark. Don’t have strong lights on in your house as this’ll keep your body clock alert. Using dim lights will combat this. You should also limit screen time in the evening and avoid screens completely about an hour before you go to bed. The light that’s emitted from phones, tablets, laptops, and TVs will disrupt the production of melatonin, the sleep hormone. This keeps your circadian rhythm irregular. Instead, introduce a relaxing bedtime routine into your evening. This could be something like having a warm bath, getting in your pyjamas, and then reading or listening to relaxing music for a little while before going to sleep. Be consistent with it, as your brain and body will need to learn it to accept it as a signal for bedtime.

Change Your Bedtime Schedule

There are two ways you can do this. You can gradually move your bedtime forward, or gradually move it later. Moving your bedtime later usually works when it’s about three hours, but this only works if you’ve got a period of time where you can implement this, as it involves going to bed and waking up at inappropriate times. If you have to get up for work or school, or any other commitments, bring your bedtime forward. You can do this by going to bed fifteen minutes earlier, and do this bit by bit. For example, if you’re going to bed at midnight, go to bed at 11.45 p.m. and then, a couple of nights later, go to bed at 11.30 p.m. Continue doing this until you’re going to bed at the time you want to, not when your body clock decides.

However, getting up in the morning will have to be adjusted also. It’s recommended that we get seven to eight hours of sleep each night, so bring your waking-up time forward to keep in line with your bedtime. So, if you have to get up at 7 a.m. but find this difficult, moving your bedtime to 11 p.m. is ideal. Keep your alarm clock away from your bed if you really struggle with getting up. This will force you to get out of bed in the morning.

Improve Your Sleep Hygiene

Keep a regular sleeping schedule, as this will really help to regulate your circadian rhythm. You should also make sure that your room is dark, quiet, and cool. Plus, only sleep in your bed – don’t do any work, studying, or any other hobbies. This will help your brain associate your bed with sleep. If you are still awake after twenty minutes of going to bed, get up. Don’t stay in bed – your brain will come to associate your bed with restlessness, and this’ll make it even harder to fall asleep. Instead, get up and go to another room. Do something relaxing, like reading – even if it’s a magazine. Only go back to bed when you feel sleepy.

Exercise

It’s not just an urban myth – exercise does help you sleep better! However, keep your exercise to the morning or earlier part of the day. Exercising too close to bedtime will keep you alert and you’ll still find it hard to fall asleep. Exercising will also tire your body out, so you should find sleeping a bit easier.

Avoid Caffeine and Alcohol

Although the first cup of coffee in the morning can keep you alert, drinking coffee during the day will keep you alert. You’ll find it hard to sleep, and this will lead to sleep deprivation the next day. You should also limit your alcohol intake, especially in the evening. While alcohol can help you feel sleepy, it’ll actually keep you from drifting off into a deep, restful sleep and could wake you up in the middle of the night. You may have trouble getting back to sleep, damaging your body clock even more.

Track Your Sleep

Tracking your sleep could help you get a better idea of your sleep pattern, and how you could adjust it. You can do this by keeping a sleep diary, recording what time you fell asleep, what time you got up, and if you woke up during the night. Or you could invest in the SE80 SleepExpert Sleep Sensor from Beurer. It’s a non-contact device that monitors your sleeping habits, so you’ll get a precise record of how you sleep. You can read more about its benefits here.

While these are ideas for how you can help to regulate your body clock for a better sleep, the best way to help yourself is to visit your doctor. Talking to your doctor will help them to decide the best treatment. For example, they could prescribe sleep-inducing drugs or refer you to a sleep specialist.

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Sleep Talking

Sleep Talking

After a long, loud day, everyone enjoys the quiet of sleep. However, when the person sleeping next to you starts to mumble or talk, it can be funny at first – and then it becomes frustrating. The person who’s talking in their sleep isn’t aware that they’re doing it, but their monologues are keeping you awake. The good news is that, for most people, it’s a rare and short-lived occurrence. Sleep talking can be spontaneous, or it can be a result of conversing with the sleeper. While it’s not physically harmful, people can be embarrassed about talking in their sleep. This may make them reluctant to sleep away from home. Someone who talks while they sleep could be anxious about going to sleep, making them at risk of developing insomnia. Sleep talking can also cause insomnia in anyone sleeping in the same room. Therefore, finding out more about sleep talking can help everyone get a good sleep.

What Causes Sleep Talking?

Sleep talking can be brought on by sleep deprivation, day-time drowsiness, alcohol, and fever1. Sometimes, it can run in families, but external factors seem to encourage it. It can also be linked with stress and depression. Easing these problems would help to alleviate talking in your sleep, and you can find out more about this in our topic, ‘Stress and Sleep’ and our article, ‘Sleeping with Depression’.

If you are struggling with depression, it’s important to note that depression is also linked with insomnia, a sleeping disorder that makes it hard to fall asleep, to stay asleep, and even to get up. Read more about insomnia here.

Sleep talking can also occur with other sleeping disorders, such as having nightmares, REM Sleep Behavioural Disorder, and Sleep Apnoea.2 Sleep Apnoea is a condition that causes a person’s breathing to be interrupted while they sleep. When their breathing pauses, they will wake up for a brief moment and their breathing will return to normal. Someone with Sleep Apnoea does not remember waking up, and is not aware that they have the sleeping disorder. However, as breathing can be interrupted many times during the night, these frequent periods of waking up with disrupt the quality of sleep. Read more about Sleep Apnoea here.

While anyone can experience sleep talking, it’s more common in males and children. In rare cases, frequent sleep talking in adults can be linked with a mental or medical illness. This is more common in people over 25 years of age.3 If you’re talking while asleep frequently, it’s worth talking to your doctor. Your doctor will be able to determine if there’s an underlying cause, and they can help ease your sleep talking. This is also beneficial for anyone who sleeps in the same room as you.

Symptoms of Sleep Talking

Sleep talking can happen during any stage of sleep. However, it’s thought that the lighter the sleep, the more coherent the speech. In the first and second stages of sleep, people may have entire conversations that can be made out clearly by anyone listening. In stages three and four, the speech can become restricted, with words giving way to moans and nonsense.4

Symptoms can vary in severity and duration.

Severity can be categorised as below;

  • Mild: sleep talking occurs less than weekly
  • Moderate: ‘episodes’ occur more than once per week, but less than nightly and cause mild disturbance to a bed partner
  • Severe: someone sleep talks nightly, and this can seriously interrupt a bed partner’s sleep

Duration is split into three sub-categories:

  • Acute: one month or less
  • Subacute: more than one month, but less than one year
  • Chronic: one year or longer5

Other symptoms of sleep talking can include:

  • Sleep terrors
  • Sleepwalking
  • Sleep Apnoea
  • REM Sleep Behaviour Disorder
  • Mental illness
  • Nocturnal seizures

More Sleep, Less Talking

While there is no treatment necessary for sleep talking, you can reduce the likelihood of talking in your sleep.

Follow a regular sleep schedule. Going to bed at the same time every night, and waking up at the same time every morning, will help to improve the quality of your sleep. Choose your bedtime depending on when you want to get up – you should get the recommended 7 – 9 hours of sleep. By doing this, you’ll help to ease feelings of stress and depression, which can increase the chance of talking in your sleep. Through this, insomnia is also helped.

Have a good sleeping environment. Make sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet.

Avoid alcohol. Although alcohol can make you feel drowsy, it’ll keep you getting the deep sleep that your body needs. It’ll also wake you up much earlier than you need to be awake, and you could struggle getting back to sleep.

Think about your diet. Don’t eat heavy meals late in the evening, and don’t eat within two hours of your bedtime.

Meditate. As stress contributes to sleep talking, reducing your stress levels could be a great way to help you – and your partner – get a better sleep. Focus on your breathing – slowly take a deep breath in, and slowly exhale. You can also visualise a peaceful scene, like a deserted beach. Read more about meditation in our article here. Mindfulness is also useful in reducing stress, as it forces you think of the present moment and your current surroundings. Read more about the benefits of mindfulness here.

Consider ear plugs. This is a tip for the person sleeping in the same room as you – ear plugs can help reduce the noise disturbance, and let you sleep peacefully.

Remember, the best you can help yourself is to consult your doctor. Knowing your symptoms can help them to determine if there’s an underlying cause, like a pre-existing sleeping disorder, that is making you talk in your sleep.

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What’s the Big Deal About A Good Sleep?

Sleep is essential to maintaining your physical and mental health, as well as your wellbeing. However, less and less of us are getting a good amount of sleep. In fact, a third of us go about our day on as little as five to six hours a night1 when we should be getting seven to nine hours. However, it’s not just the length of sleep that’s important, but the quality, too. If you don’t get a deep, restful sleep for consecutive nights, you could start to feel physically sick, anxious, and stressed. These feelings can stop you from easily going to sleep, and a challenging cycle has started. Lack of sleep leads to sleep disorders, like insomnia, but sleep disorders can prevent the good sleep you need to ease them. Read more about sleeping disorders here.

Poor sleep quality will lead to being unable to rationalise your worries or thoughts, and it can also make you feel lonely or isolated as you mightn’t feel up to socialising with friends and family.

When you sleep well, you’re also more likely to eat better and move more, and you’ll feel less stressed, think more clearly, and your mood will generally improve. With a better sleep, you’ll be happier.

The start of a new year is a great time to assess your sleep quality and change any old habits that might be keeping you from getting a great sleep.

New Year’s Resolution Ideas to Help You Sleep

Stick to a regular schedule. It’s easier said than done, especially if you’ve got children or work shifts. However, keeping a regular bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends and holidays, will help you get a good sleep quality.

Exercise. It’s not just an urban myth – exercise really does help you sleep! Regular exercise is good for both your physical and mental health. If you’re doing more vigorous workouts, exercise earlier in the day. Use the evening for gentler activities, like yoga. If you workout too much before you go to bed, you’ll make it harder for yourself to go to sleep.

Limit alcohol and caffeine. The first cup of coffee in the morning is a real treat, but drinking caffeine in the afternoon and evening will actually keep you awake when you want to go to sleep. Alcohol has a similar effect. While alcohol can make you feel drowsy, it prevents you from getting the deep, good sleep that your body needs. It’ll also upset your sleep patterns and could wake you up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. You may find it hard to get back to sleep.

Watch what you eat. Avoid heavy meals late in the evening, and don’t eat two hours before you go to bed. Rich or spicy foods take longer to digest, and this makes it harder to fall asleep.

Turn off the screens an hour before bed. We’re surrounded all day by technology – the computer on your desk, the phone in your pocket, the tablet in your bedroom. We’re glued to our TV screens, and it’s very tempting to watch just one more episode before bed. However, looking at these screens close to your bedtime won’t do you any good. The blue light that’s emitted from them suppresses melatonin, the ‘sleep hormone’. This disrupts your sleep quality and sleep patterns. Instead, read a book for an hour before you go to sleep, or take a relaxing bath. You can read more about how technology affects our sleep here.

Think of what you’re sleeping on. Your mattress may be old (you’ve had it for at least eight to ten years) and lumpy, which could be keeping you from sleeping well. Consider investing in a new mattress – you could also think about how to discard your old one, with mattress recycling an important debate in helping our environment. Find out more about this here.

Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. By having a relaxing routine before going to bed, you’ll signal to your brain and body that it’s almost time to go to sleep. Try relaxing activities, like reading or listening to soothing music. Soaking in a warm bath could be helpful, too. If you’re consistent with this, you’ll find falling asleep easier – and the sleep quality will be better, too.

Have a healthy sleeping environment. It’s best that your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet. If your bedroom is too bright at night, consider investing in blackout curtains or an eye mask. You should also only sleep in your bed. If you work or study in bed, your brain will associate your bed with this, and it’ll become the last place you want to go to sleep.

Don’t hit snooze! Hitting the snooze button multiple times doesn’t help you get any more sleep. It’ll actually leave you feeling more tired. Try leaving your alarm away from your bed, like at the other side of the room, so that you have to get up to switch it off.

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